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The death of a loved one due to an asbestos-related disease is devastating for any family, not just because of the obvious emotional distress involved, but also due to the practical and financial issues this can cause.
If you have lost a loved one due to mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural thickening or any other disease caused by exposure to asbestos, claiming compensation can never truly make up for that loss, but it can make life much easier for you and your family during this difficult time.
Boyes Turner is ranked tier 1 by leading client guide the Legal 500 for personal injury claims, recognising our team as one of the country’s top law firms for representing claimants in all types of personal injury claims.
Our Personal Injury department has been noted in the Legal 500 for our “talented and motivated” team, with specific praise for our “strong presence and deserved national reputation, particularly in asbestos and other industrial disease claims”.
The team is led by Boyes Turner Partner Laura Magson, a highly experienced personal injury lawyer.
Supporting Laura in our specialist Mesothelioma and Asbestos Disease Claims team are “thorough, professional and compassionate” Senior associate - solicitors Melloney Harbutt and and “professional, friendly and knowledgeable” Associate Solicitor Martin Anderson.
Laura, Melloney and Martin are all accredited Senior Litigators with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL). Laura and Melloney are also APIL accredited Asbestos Disease Specialists.
We are accredited by the Law Society for Personal Injury law in recognition of our specialist expertise in representing claimants for personal injury compensation, including those involving asbestos-related deaths.
We are also accredited by the Law Society for Clinical Negligence, meaning we can offer highly effective advice and support where misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease is a factor in the death of your loved one.
Our fatal mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims solicitors have been helping families to pursue compensation for asbestos-related deaths for many years, helping to make the process as simple and stress-free as we can.
We offer the clear, empathetic advice and specialist legal expertise and representation you need to secure a fair settlement to help deal with the financial and practical consequences of your loss.
To arrange a free initial telephone conversation with our friendly, expert fatal mesothelioma and asbestos disease claims solicitors, please get in touch.
Call our specialist legal teams Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 17.30 for free, no obligation advice.
Complete our simple form to start your claim and get a call back back from our expert legal team.
The majority of claims we handle for asbestos compensation after death are funded on the basis of a Conditional Fee Agreement or ‘no win, no fee’ deal.
If you are or were a member of a trade union, they may be able to provide funding for industrial disease claims, such as those for asbestos-related diseases. Whether trade union funding is available will depend on the circumstances and a Conditional Fee Agreement may sometimes still be the preferable choice.
Find out more about funding your claim.
While a Conditional Fee Agreement means you do not need to pay anything towards our legal fees at the start of your claim, we do recommend taking out After the Event (ATE) insurance.
ATE insurance is intended to cover the cost of the defendant’s legal fees in the unlikely event that you were to become liable for their costs. This would only happen if your claim goes to court and the judge rules against you and awards costs against you.
Very few asbestos-related death claims ever go to court as they are almost always settled out-of-court. However, we will discuss with you whether after the event insurance is a sensible precaution in your case.
If your loved one passed away due to mesothelioma then the defendants will almost always pay the insurance premium. There are no upfront fees in any case as the premiums are deferred until the conclusion of your case.
To be able to claim compensation for the asbestos-related death of a loved one, you will need to be their surviving spouse, civil partner, child or executor.
If you are unsure whether you may be able to make a claim for asbestos compensation after death, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss this with you.
Am I entitled to compensation for an asbestos-related death in the family?
To be eligible for compensation for an asbestos-related death, a number of key factors must apply:
Sadly, it is very common for someone with asbestosis, mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease who starts a compensation claim to pass away before the claim is resolved. Where this occurs, it may be possible for their family to continue the claim or it may be appropriate to start a separate claim, depending on the circumstances.
Our asbestos claims solicitors can advise you on the best option for you and guide you through the process, taking over an asbestos claim or starting a new claim.
When someone sadly passes away and they were suffering from an asbestos related disease the death is often referred to the coroner. The death may be considered in more detail by the coroner and it may be that the death was wholly or partially caused by previous asbestos exposure. Alternatively it may be that your loved one was suffering from an asbestos related disease but that the cause of death was unrelated to asbestos.
For example, if someone who dies due to respiratory failure was suffering from asbestos-related pleural effusion or pleural thickening, those asbestos-related issues may be considered a contributing factor to the respiratory failure, but not the sole cause.
On the other hand, someone may be suffering with asbestosis (or another condition) during their life, but can also have other problems such as a heart condition which might be their actual cause of death. In situations where your loved one's death was partially caused, or contributed to, by asbestos disease or where they were suffering from an asbestos related disease during lifetime but another unrelated condition caused their death, the family can often continue with a pre-existing claim.
Exactly what you can claim for an asbestos related death will depend on the circumstances, but key types of compensation you may be able to claim include:
We will aim to provide a clear estimate of your claim’s likely value at the earliest opportunity, so please get in touch to find out more.
You will generally have three years from the date of death to make a claim for asbestos compensation after death.
In exceptional circumstances, a court may grant permission to bring a claim outside of this three-year time limit, however, this is rare, so should not be relied on. We therefore recommend you contact our Mesothelioma and Asbestos Disease Claims team as soon as possible to ensure you do not miss out on the chance to make a claim.
Even if the deceased already claimed compensation for their disease before their death, you may still be able to make a separate claim depending on the circumstances.
Whether you are eligible to make a separate claim will depend on the details of the previous claim, so this is something we would need to review with you during your free initial consultation.
The overwhelming majority of claims for asbestos compensation after death can be resolved with an out-of-court settlement. This allows you to get a fair settlement for your claim without the stress and uncertainty of court proceedings. It also normally makes the claims process much faster and less costly.
However, in some cases court proceedings may be required to ensure you are able to get the compensation you are entitled to. In such cases, we can offer the experienced, expert representation and emotional support you need to make the process as straightforward and stress-free as possible, while ensuring your case is presented in the most effective way.
£1.1 million settlement for fatal mesothelioma claim
Kim Smerdon secured a £1.1million settlement for a family who had lost a loved one to mesothelioma. The claim was for loss-of-dependency, with the deceased having been the primary earner for the family.
£110,000 settlement from MOD after husbands death from lung cancer and asbestosis
Laura Magson secured a settlement of £110,000 for the widow of a former Chatham Dockyard, originally thought to be from suspected lung cancer. Despite lack of witness evidence and engineering evidence, the absence of a lifetime statement from the deceased and his history of heavy smoking a settlement was reached for his widow a year after she first asked us to investigate her claim.
£59,600 settlement for non-dependent family of former builder
We negotiated an out-of-court settlement of just over £59,600 for the family of a former builder and carpenter who died due to respiratory failure connected to asbestos-related pleural effusion and pleural thickening. We were able to secure the settlement in spite of the family not being financially dependent on the deceased.
£85,025 settlement for asbestosis-related death
Our team negotiated an £85,025 settlement for the bereaved family of a former construction project manager whose death was partially caused by asbestosis. The claim was originally started by the deceased shortly before his death and continued by his family. The deceased’s illness was related to asbestos exposure in the 1960s and early 1970s during his time working at an oil refinery.
To book your free initial appointment and find out more about making a no win, no fee compensation claim for a death due to asbestos, please get in touch with our friendly, expert mesotheliom and asbestos disease claims team.
Senior associate - solicitor
We are happy to discuss the possibility of bringing a claim, without any obligation to take matters further.
In addition to understanding how the asbestos related diagnosis came about and the impact of said diagnosis, we will ask for information about how you or your loved one came into contact with asbestos, so we can start to assess your potential claim.
Even if you haven’t worked directly with asbestos or cannot recall the circumstances of your asbestos exposure then still get in touch with us as it may well be that, after careful questioning, it becomes apparent where and when your exposure to asbestos is likely to have occurred. We have an extensive database of statements and documents involving many UK employers and companies.
Where asbestos is considered to have potentially played a part in a death, it is important that the local coroner is notified of the death and that a post-mortem takes place. We can advise on this process. An initial interview is always provided free of charge. At that meeting we will discuss how to fund the claim. In the majority of cases, we can act under a Conditional Fee Agreement (‘no win, no fee’).
It is possible to make an asbestos claim on behalf of a loved one who has died as a result of an asbestos-related disease.
You may be entitled to claim if you were the spouse or child of someone who lost their life to an asbestos related disease, or if you were financially dependent on them. The claim is brought by the personal representative of the estate.
To make a compensation claim in these cases, you must start your claim within three years of the date of death or at the point at which a post-mortem reveals that the death was caused by asbestos exposure.
A lot of types of asbestos have been under restrictions since the 1970s, the last type was banned in 1999. It is therefore possible to have been exposed to asbestos whilst working on buildings that were built or refurbished before 2000 and in many other professions, we see a large number of former laggers’ or plumbers who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease after exposure at work.
Guidance regulations were introduced in 1970 on the use of asbestos in the workplace. These days, employers must follow strict rules set out by the Health and Safety Executive. They should:
If your employer failed to follow regulations around the use of asbestos and you later developed an asbestos-related illness, you could be entitled to compensation.
This will vary from case to case and will depend on the type of asbestos related disease you are suffering from, the medical treatment that you may require and any losses incurred.
The claim amount may be made up of the following:
Our highly experienced mesothelioma and asbestos claims solicitors are recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as experts in handling asbestos related claims.
Whilst we cannot guarantee that any particular claim will settle out of court, we take great care in investigating and preparing each claim that we take on. Our clients’ claims usually settle successfully without the need for a contested trial.
Even in non-contested cases, there will be occasions when the case is brought for shorter hearings before the court. In these cases, the lawyers for both sides present the agreed settlement to the court for the judge’s approval.
Due to the nature of asbestos related diseases taking a while to have a noticeable impact, or even show any symptoms at all, it is expected that the exposure is to have happened some time ago. In order for your claim to be valid, you have three years from the date it can reasonably have been expected that you “knew or ought to have known” that your condition may be associated with your asbestos exposure, within which to issue court proceedings.
If someone affected by asbestos related diseases dies within three years of this date, then the personal Will representative for the estate has three years from the date of death within which to issue court proceedings. However, there are some circumstances where exceptions can be made, so please do contact us so that we can advise you appropriately.
The company where the effected person worked at the time of the asbestos exposure, or the defendant company, is liable to pay your compensation. However, due to the latency period of asbestos in the body, a lot of companies may have ceased trading once a claim is relevant.
If your former employer has gone out of business, you could still make a claim. The company is likely to have been insured to deal with claims such as this, so it will be the insurer’s responsibility to meet the compensation claim.
In cases where the companies have gone out of business and the insurers are untraceable there are benefits and in some cases, lump sums, set up to compensate those diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases.
It may be that you did not come into contact with asbestos through your work. We also act for people who contracted mesothelioma in other ways. For example, washing a loved one’s overalls, by living near to an asbestos factory or by attending a school where asbestos was disturbed.
We may also be able to bring a claim on behalf of those who believe they were exposed to asbestos whilst they were self-employed.
There are various Government benefits available for those diagnosed with an asbestos related condition, including the following:
For asbestos related lung cancer:
For benign asbestos related diseases (asbestosis and asbestos-related diffuse pleural thickening):
We are happy to put you in touch with a charity who can assist you in making any appropriate applications.
There is no bar to bringing a claim in the UK if you have been exposed to asbestos in the UK but you are now living abroad.
We act for many clients who have chosen to move abroad including those living in Australia, Gibraltar, New Zealand, Spain and Thailand.
If you are suffering from an asbestos related disease or condition and may have been exposed to asbestos whilst working in the UK, or for a UK based or owned company, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Our medical negligence and personal injury teams have been nationally recognised for over 20 years because of their expertise, empathy and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients.
I selected Boyes Turner from a list given to me by an asbestos charity, on the strength of the CV’s of the specialist solicitors. It was a wise choice, I feel.
Melloney Harbutt has been great from day one, despite my occasionally disappearing into hospital for emergency treatment. Very supportive, very knowledgeable and very friendly.
The whole process has been made easier for me thanks to their great communication skills and knowledge of the process. Thank you
When my dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma we were contacted by a charity based company called HASAG which put us on to Boyes Turner, and we met Laura. Laura managed to speak to dad virtually whilst he was still with us, but unfortunately he passed away very soon after. Laura advised that I become an executor to dads claim.Laura was so easy to deal with and also showed the family a personal touch whenever we spoke.
We finally settled our claim with Laura’s help.
The family would definitely recommend Laura and Boyes Turner to anyone needing a representative for a mesothelioma case as Laura’s knowledge is vast
After much hesitation regarding making a claim and speaking to HASAG. I found Boyes Turner one of HASAG's approved solicitors, I met Melloney who explained the process in plain English, and we started the ball rolling, some of the reports were difficult to come to terms with, but all through the process Melloney was supportive and understanding.
As there were multiple parties involved the process took some time which was frustrating, but the final result was very satisfactory.
After my diagnosis and starting my treatment for asbestosis I chose the services of Boyes Turner LLP to help me and my family through the claim system.
I had the good fortune to be introduced to Melloney Harbutt as my lead solicitor. At a time when I least wanted additional stress and anxiety, her clear compassionate, honest legal knowledge and personal guidance prevailed throughout.
Absolutely delighted with the speed, efficiency and clarity of the support provided by Laura in my claim against my former employer. She cut through the legalese jargon and explained everything in detail making my decision making easy.
Additionally, she handled my grim prognosis details with compassion and showed a great understanding of, not only the legal aspects, but also the complex medical details and options. The prompt settlement negotiated by Laura has ensured I can "enjoy" the benefits while still fairly mobile and also she ensured the defendants would fund any future treatments not funded by the NHS should I need them.
It was a pleasure working with Laura and I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending her to others.